Orlando City SC took several huge steps in the construction of their inaugural MLS roster on Monday, acquiring three notable veterans and an international spot in four separate trades.
The expansion club nabbed three All-Star-caliber players, acquiring three-time MLS All-Star and 2012 MLS Best XI defender Aurelien Collin from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for allocation money and future considerations, receiving two-time All-Star goalkeeper Tally Hall from Houston in exchange for allocation money and a two-year international roster spot and sending allocation money and a 2016 MLS SuperDraft second-round pick to Philadelphia for promising 23-year-old midfielder/defender Amobi Okugo.
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Additionally, Orlando gained an international spot from D.C. United in exchange for allocation money.
All three players were big contributors at their previous clubs, with Collin totaling 107 regular season appearances and a MLS Cup MVP trophy in four seasons in Kansas City, Hall starting 130 league games and helping the Dynamo to MLS Cup appearances in 2011 and 2012, and Okugo registering 117 appearances in five seasons as a Union original.
The moves solidify Orlando City’s spine, with Okugo set to provide cover behind Designated Player Kaka and Collin and Hall likely to lead the center of the Lions’ defense.
“We think we’ve signed some of the best players in their respective positions in MLS,” Orlando head coach Adrian Heath said in a statement on OrlandoCitySC.com. “All three players are guys that we’ve wanted for a long time, and we know that they will be huge assets to us moving forward. We’ve always stated that we want to hit the ground running in MLS next year, and these three players will help make us competitive from Day One.”
The additions of Collin, Hall and Okugo gives Orlando 12 players on their roster. They’ll add quite a few more to that total on Wednesday, when they and fellow expansion club New York City FC will participate in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft.
Orlando will pick first ahead of New York in Wednesday’s draft, and will be allowed to select any player left unprotected by the other 18 MLS teams. Clubs that participated in the 2014 MLS season will submit their 11-man protected lists to the league on Monday, with protected players unavailable for selection in Wednesday’s draft.
OCSC’s current roster is very young, with five of the club’s 12 players currently under the age of 20. Seven of the players on Orlando’s roster played for the club during the 2014 USL-PRO season. Trinidad & Tobago international Kevin Molino had the most success as a minor-league Lion, setting the league scoring record with 20 goals in 2014 to win his second USL PRO MVP award in three years.